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Blake Library

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Sample Web Sites

Sample web sites based on trying to find credible research on bats

Unusable Site

The site looks like it would be fun for children, but is not appropriate for serious research.

  • Qualifications? none.
  • Who wrote this? minimal information, unusable.
  • References? a short list of locations contacted.
  • Date? yes.
  • Bias? no serious bias, other than they like bats.
  • Accurate? Would have to verify.
  • URL (domain) ws.
Somewhat Usable Site

This site is better, but is a fact sheet rather than an article providing in-depth research.

  • Qualifications? They have a large crew and also draw on wildlife biologists. 
  • Who wrote this? Do not know who specifically wrote it, though in these cases, general staff (who are mentioned) will write the generic text.
  • References? No. We can probably assume the writer(s) have the basic knowledge, but there is some data not referenced. Would probably need to verify.
  • Date? The site is copyrighted 2017. 
  • Bias? Yes. Site is dedicated to protecting endangered wildlife.  
  • Accurate? Probably, but would need to verify the data.
  • URL (domain)? It is a .org
  • A well developed and maintained site. Looks good and doesn't have advertisements, though does have a donation button.
Better Site
This site is actually an article in the Scientific American magazine.  
  • Qualifications? yes, Scientific American is a reputable and popular magazine that covers all sciences and includes contributions by scientists in their fields.
  • Who wrote this? Amy Mathews Amos, however, there was no information about the author. Due to the reputation of the magazine, this can be overlooked to some degree.
  • References? Yes, research mentioned in the article are linked to original research. However, there is no specific list at the end.
  • Date? yes, 2016
  • Bias? there seems to be a bias in the writing. It is obvious enough for the reader or researcher to make note.
  • Accurate? Probably, since referenced material is linked.
  • URL? it is a .com, but a magazine, which would be a .com
  • Know that this article would have passed, but magazine and journal articles found on the web still need to be vetted to be sure they are legitimate resources.
Best Site

This site leads you to legitimate research through proceedings and reports that are produced in PDF's rather than text in the web site.

  • Qualifications? From a legitimate government site called: U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcment
  • Who wrote this? Individuals from such places as the Bat Conservation International, Inc.
  • References? Yes - at the end of each paper.
  • Date? Yes, dates are mentioned in the same text where the link to the forum is.
  • Bias? The site itself may have some bias, but this bias is not able to bleed over into the presented papers due to the nature of the presentation. Each paper may have some bias one way or another, but not enough to dismiss them as unusable.
  • Accurate? Can assume so
  • URL? Site is a government site, .gov

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